Minutes of 29th May meeting of the Lancaster Forum

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Present

Paul Stubbins, Dynamo

Rob Lowe, Dynamo

John Leach, Dynamo

Peter Edge, CTC, Sustrans Ranger, Wray Parish Council

Graham Agnew, Over Kellet Parish Council, LALC

Joy Greenwood

Pat Douglass

Matt Hodges, CTC

Aurora Trujillo, Lancaster Freewheelers Cycle Cooperative

Holly Smith, Lancaster Freewheelers Cycle Cooperative

Sarah McGowan, Lancaster Freewheelers Cycle Cooperative

Alasdair Simpson, Sustainable Travel, Lancashire County Council

Apologies

Nick Hewitt, Lancaster University

Annie Cousins, Bike It

Andy Beanland, Bentham

Darren Axe, Green Lancaster, Lancaster University

Phil Longton, Lancaster University Travel Plan Adviser

David Bedding, Sustrans Ranger

Ian Rodham, University of Cumbria Travel Plan Adviser

Gary Bowker, Lancaster City Council Engineering and Projects

Michael Helm, Ellel Parish Council

Ian Welsby, formerly Public Realm Manager Lancaster, Lancaster County Council. (Ian has a new post as Head of Drainage and Flooding)

  1. Minutes of previous meeting

  1. Lune Valley Cycle Track

Peter Edge said the B6251 from Wray to Hornby was dangerous to cycle on rather than unpleasant

(Minutes will be altered to say the B6251 is perceived as dangerous to cycle on by many people as it is twisty and narrow).

  1. John Leach said that " the proposal by Dynamo to take over running of meeting" should " be running of meeting should be rotated between different groups on different dates"

Minutes agreed

  1. Matters arising

  1. Pointer Roundabout and Lune Aqueduct ramp schemes had been completed since the last meeting

  1. Alasdair Simpson had again raised the matter of the surfacing of the canal between Lancaster and Carnforth. The problem was that British Waterways did not have the money to maintain the towpath to a high standard. Members of the forum felt that there was a need to resurface the towpath to stop the surface of the towpath deteriorating further

  1. Current schemes

    1. Chapel St

Proposal had been revised to retain cycle lane on wests ide of road with improved markings, signs and hump markings at accesses. The cycle lane would be two way

    1. Stonewell Toucan

  1. Work was due to start in July

  2. It was questioned whether the crossing was worth doing given the Centros development.

  3. Others felt that given the timescale for Centros was uncertain it was better to go ahead now.

  1. Local Sustainable Transport Fund

The County Council’s bid of £5 m for the local sustainable transport fund for the A6 corridors of south of Lancaster and Preston. 40% of funding was capital and 60% for revenue (i.e. promotion). Funding was for three years

Possible schemes included

  1. Improved cycle parking at the railway station (subject to outcome of rail refranchising)

  2. Traffic signals at North Rd Chapel St junction to help buses and cyclists get. out and pedestrians cross the road

  3. Trixi mirrors to enable motorists to see cyclists coming up behind them at traffic signal junctions on gyratory

  4. Cycle parking at major employers

  5. Events at major employment sites to promote sustainable transport

  1. Future Schemes

5.1 A6 City Centre to Lancaster University

Dynamo was campaigning to have a continuous cycle facility on the A6.

Installing continuous cycle lanes on the A6 would need the removal of on street parking. There would be a lot of opposition to removing parking on the road. There were two sections of the road where residents in terraced houses parked on the road as they had no alternative parking. There were four lengths with shops where shop keepers would be opposed to losing parking. Without removing parking any cycle lanes would be intermittent. South of the Boot and Shoe the road was not wide enough to install cycle lanes.

A further alternative might to widen the footway on the east side between Belle View Terrace and Rutland Drive and convert to joint use. This would link to the university cycle route along Letchworth Drive. However the width of the cycle path would be substandard in places and narrowing the width of the road would disadvantage cyclists using the carriageway.

Graham Agnew mentioned that traffic using the left turn lane at the university entrance often cut across the path of cyclists going straight ahead

Other ideas were to have short length of cycle lanes at junctions to highlight that cyclists might be there, though these were often criticised for being intermittent and running the cycle lane behind parking between Rutland Av and. Barton Road.

Some people questioned whether money would be spent elsewhere where more could done to improve conditions for cyclists

Alternative routes suggested included

a) A cycle path along the railway via Dorrington Road – This had been looked at in past but rejected following contact with the allotment group

b) Via minor roads between the A6 and Bowerham Road and via Greaves Park – This route was quite hilly and convoluted

As well as the route from the University to the City Centre it was important to consider routes from the University to different areas of Lancaster and from parts of south Lancaster to the City Centre

Action Alasdair Simpson to set up a site meeting with interested parties to walk along the main road to look at problems

5.2 Leach House Lane, Ellel

  1. Leach House Lane was a public footpath linking the west side of Galgate and Highland Brow with the A6 which came out by the toucan crossing at Hazelrigg Lane junction at the south end of university campus.

  2. Part of the route was a tarmac lane with the rest a path through a field.

  3. It was suggested that the route be made a bridleway and the path through the field surfaced so that cyclists could use it.

  4. The forum felt that it was a low priority for cyclists but should be pursued as a bridleway /cycleway scheme. The disadvantage of Highland Brow as a route to the University was that it included a steep hill

5.3 Lune Valley Cycle Path

Michael Helm (Ellel Parish Council) had raised the issue of extending the cycle path to Hornby and Wray at the Third Tier Forum. The Third Tier Forum is a joint body between County, City and Parish Councils. The Forum had given their support for the extension of the cycle path. The next stage was consideration of the proposal for inclusion in the County Council Commissioning Plans. Lancashire Access Forum’s annual summer visit included the Lune Valley cycle track to look at the recent extension to the cycle path and problems in extending the path.

Peter Edge thought the jug handle at the end of the extended section of the cycle path at Bull Beck was a good idea as it gave cyclists somewhere safe to wait at the side road. The junction with the B6251 was felt to unsafe for cyclists because of the danger of waiting in the middle of road in a location with poor visibility.

5.4 Morecambe Town Centre

An area Action Plan for Morecambe Town Centre was being developed. This included several cycling related proposals e.g.

  • Using the old Reebok Store for Cycle Hire

  • Improving links from Lancaster to Morecambe Greenway to the Promenade

  • Improvements to skate park

Access from the Lancaster – Morecambe Greenway and Promenade into Morecambe Town Centre was poor. There was a need to encourage more people to come into the town centre to help its vitality, including people cycling on the promenade who tended to cycle straight past the town centre rather than calling at shops. There were opportunities to allow contra-flow cycling on one way streets in Poulton and the West End. There was a need to improve links onto the Promenade for cyclists from the West End, Poulton and high schools.

Members of the forum felt that there was a need for more cycle parking in the town centre

5.5 Lancaster City Centre Pedestrian Order

The City Centre Pedestrian Order is being reviewed to reduce the number of vehicles coming into area during the day. The order would be experimental for 18 months. People had 6 months to object to object to it. After 18 months the County Council would need to decide whether to make the order permanent or not.

Members of the forum would like to see access into the pedestrian area for cycles to be increased

Dynamo had written to Councillor Janice Hanson, the City Council’s Cabinet member asking if cycling could be allowed in the pedestrian area at the same time as delivery vehicles

Matthew Hodges would like to see cycling allowed in New St and the west end of Market St to enable cyclists to access. Meeting House Lane and the railway station without having to use Castle Hill which was steep and cobbled

Peter Edge felt that cycling should be allowed in the pedestrian area at all times as happened in many places in Europe. People would make up their own minds whether it was safe to cycle or walk.

5.6 Lancaster City Centre Flood Relief Sewer Works

Flood Relief Sewer works were due to take place in the bus station area from Feb 2013 to Nov 2014. There would be temporary traffic management arrangements in place. Half the bus station would be closed at one period. The aim would be keep to cycle access from the Millennium Bridge to the City Centre open at all times

  1. Cycle training

Bikeability cycle training was currently being offered in the district by the CTC

County Council was planning to offer Bikeability cycle training to schools in the area, adult cycle training, family cycle training and cycle maintenance training

Aurora Trujillo felt that as well as cycle training there was a need to create a culture of cycling in schools through projects like Bike it.

  1. Events

7.1 Velocity Festival including

Friday 22nd June evening Lancaster City Centre Cycle Race

Saturday 23rd June Go Ride Racing at Saltayre

Sunday 24th June BMX stunts on Morecambe Promenade

More information http: www.lancaster.gov.uk/news/2012/may/3251velocityfestival/

7.2 Other Events

CTC’s North Dales Audax on 2nd September

Lancashire Hotpot Sportive on 16 September starting from Blackpool.

The Ashton Memorial was a feeding station

www.kilotogo.com/index.php?option=event_detail&event_id=46

Lancashire Loop Challenge from Cockerham on 30th September

www.medequip4kids.org.uk/events/497/lancashire-loop-cycle-challenge.html

7.3 Preston events

Sunday 17th June Sky Ride on closed roads in Preston City Ride

www.goskyride.com/PrestonSkyRide

Saturday 23rd June Big Breeze Women’s Cycle Ride

www.preston.gov.uk/events/details/1761/

Sunday 19 Aug Guild Wheel Opening

www.prestonguild2012.com/?OBH=413&ID=423

  1. Mountain Biking

Paul Stubbs was keen to see more mountain biking routes in the area so that people did not have to drive elsewhere to go mountain biking. He suggested two initial routes

  1. Footpath 9 on the north side of the river by Halton Camp

Joy Greenwood suggested a link up to the road on the east side of the Aqueduct to avoid a section of path that was prone to flooding

  1. Footpath 4 and 24 from the Morecambe Bypass to Heysham Mossgate.

This would also be a good utility route linking directly to Heysham. A further option would be to make footpath 3 a cycle path to avoid a section of road by Snatchems that was subject to tidal flooding. A disadvantage of the route was that it went through a farm yard and it may be difficult to get landowner agreement

Joy Greenwood said the Ramblers preferred route for coastal access on the west side of the Lune Estuary was along the flood bank which might.make a suitable bridleway route

Cyclists could legally use bridleways. Paths could legally become bridleway either by agreement with landowners, creation orders or by claim (Unopposed horse use over 20 years. Cyclists cannot claim bridleways, though they can claim restricted byways). The CTC website has advise on public rights of ways issues http://beta.ctc.org.uk/article/campaign-article/developing-new-paths-for-cycling-in-countryside

Alasdair Simpson sent there was a need to promote existing bridleway routes better and look at ways of improving them

Peter Edge mentioned that there was a possibility of the Concessionary bridleway on Caton Moor and Shooters Track on Ward Stone being open to cyclists

Paul Stubbs was looking at setting up a sub group of Dynamo and interested parties to look at mountain bike access

  1. Lancashire Sport’s Partnership Cycling Action Plan

Working with partners Lancashire Sports Partnership had produced a Cycling Action. Lancashire Sports Partnership was independent from the County Council being mainly funded by Sport England. Cycling was one of their key target sports.

Dynamo welcomed that the final draft of the Action Plan gave more emphasis to utility cycling than the initial draft. The Forum thought it was good that the Sports Partnership have prioritised cycling

  1. Welsh legislation on cycling

The Welsh Assembly was proposing legislation that put a duty on councils to provide and maintain walking and cycling routes. Alasdair Simpson said that was what councils should already be doing. Dynamo were supportive of the Welsh legislation

http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/transport/activetravelbill/?lang=en

  1. Date of next meeting

October to be advised

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